tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC June 8, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
tonight on "world news," frustration. day 50 of the oil spill. we'll ask the man in charge about still unanswered questions. we seek answers from bp about unemployed fishermen. and we take you to the little town that can, building its own barricade against the oil. future. the first big vote today on the big roll toward november. forewarned. a new study warning about the popular trend in surgery. and phenom. the talk of the nation is about to make his big debut. good evening. it is day 50 of the oil spill, emergency in the gulf. and it's hard for americans to
believe we are still seeking answers to so many of the questions we asked the first week of the crisis. how much oil is seeping into the gulf? why aren't all the fishermen who want to organized to help defend the shores? and look at this. 13 different federal agencies are all involved in decisions on the gulf. why so much red tape? a in a moment, i'll be asking questions of the admiral in charge. but first, a look at then and now. the first week, the spill was the size of manhattan. now, 50 days later, it is the size of south carolina. and, this was that first video we saw of oil pouring out of the pipe. this is the oil we are still seeing pour out today. our team is standing by once again in the gulf, and first up tonight, david muir. and david, bp announced today they'll donate from seeds from the oil retrieved to that well to rebuild the wildlife? >> reporter: yeah, diane. it is a welcome gesture, but i have to be honest with you, it
dwarfs what bp owes the people of the gulf. after so much attention on the crisis at sea, we focused today on the crisis involving so many families exploding right here on shore. >> yes, sir, i was calling to check on my claim. >> reporter: tens of thousands of workers are struggling to support their families. victoria evans, a deckhand on a shrimp boat is a mother with another baby on the way. dad is simply trying to get hired by bp to skim the water. how much money would you have made by now? >> me? roughly about $7,000. >> reporter: 7,000. so far, she's received just one check from bp, $2500, a third of what she would have made. with no word if any more is coming. >> the computer's down. >> reporter: finally, they find her records. >> when is that supposed to happen? >> reporter: they tell her what so many people are just learning. that future payments will be based on not what would have been a big season this year, instead on the last three years.
>> so they kind of got it figured out here, don't they? >> reporter: bp told us 90% of claims paid so far have gone to individual workers. just 10% to businesses. why? business owners say they've been required to turn over a mountain of paper works. taxes, business records. we took our questions to a bp claims office today, stopped by an officer posted outside. they've asked us to wait outside. they put up signs, no video cameras inside the office. finally, a bp pospokesperson sa he can't comment on the paper work they're requiring and basing future payouts on the three awful years? legitimate claims will be offered -- >> reporter: why go back three years snen that puts them in the troubled times. >> we have to start somewhere. >> reporter: start a year before ka free that. >> well, we have to start somewhere. >> reporter: boat welder bill farmer told us he's lost $45,000 in business, but he and others refuse to let bp get away with paying a tiny claim.
>> they have the same fears i have. you know, what if we settle for just a little bit and this impacts us for the next five years? >> reporter: the mayor of gulf shores, alabama, told me one business owner had to turn over 1600 pages to file a claim, diane, and we just learned a short time ago that the governor of that state might call in the national guard to help so many business owners, so many families timing claims against bp. >> all right, david, thank you for the report. and today, below the water, the government confirmed that there is a large plume of oil that has been found thousands of feet below the surface, miles of the site from the rig explosion and sam champion is with us. sam, i remember, you first reported on this when you took that scuba dive weeks ago. >> reporter: yeah, diane. it is confirmation of what we found when we visited with dr. samantha joy and her team of researchers. now, here's what the government says they found. 3300 feet down in the watt herb, they're calling it a cloud, if you will. and it is able 45 miles
northeast of the leaking well. dr. joy and others call it a plume. when oil and gas particles mix, it's a sub stance that you and i have never seen before, because these two things behave differently at these depths and these temperatures and pressures. they found it by dropping canisters into the water, and sampling all the way down into the bottom there. now, she knew exactly what to look for, dr. joy and her team, because in 2000-2001, this was a government study by bp and other oil companies and she knew that in that controlled leak, that this is exactly what happened. those prt cans went to a certain level, stayed there and traveled with the currents. now, what's happening to the fish, the wildlife? no one knows. because the affects of this kind of plume has never been studies. dr. joy told me there's nothing like this in human history so, diane, the only good news that we have today is that louisiana department of health and hospital said there's been no seafood contamination that they know of now. >> and that is good news.
thank you, sam. and this afternoon i had a chance to speak to admiral thad allen, the man in charge of the government response to the spill. and i asked him about the questions we have had for these 50 days. for instance, why it's so difficult to organize a response in a way the people of the gulf can understand, and why it is so difficult to get answers to some of these basic questions. can i ask you two questions with just yes or no answers for everybody at home. do you know how much oil is coming out of the well today? >> we have an estimate, yes. >> reporter: we hear that the estimate of today is either 12,000 barrels per day flowing out or double that, 25,000 per day. there have been other estimates that say it could be much higher than that. could it possibly be 60,000 barrels per day? >> diane, i don't know if it would be that high. everything we know and everything we see is through the remote sensors or the remotely operated vehicles that are like
lookingly a particular keyhole at a particular time. >> reporter: what about the people on shore that say, come to us, organize us like the coast guard, and let us at least stand by, get ready in our boats to provide support. tell us where you want us, when, we will be ready to go. but they're hearing nothing. >> well, diane, we qualified over 2600 vessels of opportunity, and in the last couple of days in alabama, for instance, we deployed 500 or 600. it's a matter of recon timing the boat, getting people trained and we're actively doing that. >> reporter: but it's 50 days in. >> well, diane, the requirement did not present itself until the last couple of weeks. as the oil comes in, that's the way to do it. >> reporter: we asked the admiral about the federal agencies involved in decision-making and the time it takes for him to create unity. he says this is not like a military chain of command. just to give you a moment to say it, you want to say to everybody out there, cult the dang red
tape. >> well, i've said that from the start. we need to streamline this and cut the cycle time. >> reporter: how angry do you get during the day? >> oh, i think everybody is a little frustrated. >> reporter: a little frustrated? a little frustrated? >> well, i spend a lot of time on the road, diane. and it is not easy to go from town to town and see the level of frustration and the anger of the american people out there. i worked on the walter all my life. i worked in the gulf during hurricane katrina. i empathize with the folks down there. that's the reason it is very critical that we bring unity of effort to this thing and i spend countless hours doing that. >> reporter: admiral, i know this has been an unbelievable series of days for you, too, and i know the amount of time you are putting in and thank you so much. >> my pleasure. it's an honor to serve. >> again, admiral thad allen, who is working so hard in the gulf. by the way, people in one alabama town have decided enough
is enough with these questions. as the oil approaches their shore, they're going to do whatever it takes to protect the mouth of their little bay. yunji de nies met the people in a little town that thinks it can, magnolia springs. >> reporter: bp has been all but absent here. they laid down one line of boom that the rough current shredded within days. so, this volunteer fire chief and the 1,000 people who live here, came up with a plan to block the bay themselves. jamie hinton has lived on these waters all of his life. now, he is fighting to save them. >> we're not engineers or anything else. we're people who had a vision. and come hell or high water we're going to put it to work. >> reporter: that vision? they rented nine barges lining them up to barricade the entry of their bay. the barges knock down the waves around currents, protecting several lines of boom positioned on both sides that will
hopefully stop the oil. while the government must approve plans like this, the town didn't stop to ask. >> if we get in trouble for doing something, we're ask for forgiveness later. >> i don't depend on anybody but my people. me and my people is who i depend on. >> reporter: and how have your people been doing? >> awesome. >> reporter: all of this boom, and the rented barges, cost about $6,000 a day. the state has put up $200,000 to run this operation, but that money will run out in the next three weeks. >> if we could, i promise you that i could get enough people to stand all the way across that, holding each other arm to arm to keep the oil out of here. >> reporter: oil has been spotted just 12 miles away, but it's not getting in here would a fight. yunji de nies, abc news, magnolia springs, alabama. again, do what we can now, ask for forgiveness later, he said. we turn now to politics. the primaries and runoff
elections in 11 states. from south carolina to california, this has become the year of women candidates, and jon karl watches politics for us. >> reporter: this might just be the year of the republican woman. exhibit a, california. where carly fiorina is the front runner the senate primary to take on barbara boxer. and in the governor's race, the favorite for the republican nomination is meg whitman. former e bay eco, who has pent more than 70 million disease of her own money on the race. both are running hard-edged campaigns. a recent ad feature s barbara boxer with an exploding head. >> soon her self-image grew so that it overwhelmed the capital and drifted west. >> reporter: here in nevada, women are front and center in the battle for the biggest republican prize of all. the chance to take on senate majority leader harry reid. the leading candidate is sharon angle, a gun-toting tea party
candidate with hard-line conservative views. all told, six women have either won or are expected to win republican senate nominations this year. a chance to more than double the number of republican women in the senate. >> reporter: this could be the biggest year on record for republican women running for state-wide office. >> reporter: in edition to meg whitman, there's nikki haley, the republican favorite for governor in south carolina. it may add up to the year of the republican woman, but none of them talk much about gender. they are running as something important in this anti-income benlt year. political outsiders. jonathan karl, abc news, nevada. >> and i want to bring in george stephanopoulos. all these republican women. what do you make of it? >> reporter: really something. if whitman or haley win those races, they instantly become national leaders in the party. >> and what does this mean, the outsider momentum for the tea party? does ill roll straight to novemb
november? >> reporter: not entirely clear. look at the unfavorable rating for the tea party. 11 points in the last couple of months. they favorable rating has gone down the tea party has enough juice to win the primaries but may be putting their party in a position where it is hard to win in november. >> of course, there is also a big debate going on in the democratic party, too. >> reporter: income benlts in trouble, there, too. you talk about women. senator blanche lincoln. she's facing a strong challenge. if she loses tonight, she would be the third incumbent senator to lose a primary. we haven't seen that happen since 1980. >> the votes are rolling in right now and we'll have full coverage, you, tomorrow morning, and all of us tomorrow night. still ahead on "world news," the trend in outpatient surgery. are you increasing your risk of infection? joran van der sloot with a chilling confession in peru.
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sharyn alfonsi explains. >> reporter: tonight, this doctor is facing criminal charges for what happened inside this nevada clinic. investigators say he encouraged employees to reuse vials of a medicine to save money. the result? prosecutors say a hepatitis outbreak. >> i don't think it would take a medical degree to figure out, you need to clean your utensils. >> reporter: those outpatient centers have skyrocketed. popular from foot to dental surgery. some are associated with hospitals, but many operate completely independently, and some critics say that's the problem. >> they are not being regulated with anywhere near the thoroughness and completeness and frequency that large hospitals are. >> reporter: cdc investigators found more than a quarter of the centers they inspected weren't sterilizing instruments correctly. and an astonishing number were using those single medication
viles for more than one patient. a possible cost-cutting measure and the very thing that prosecutors say set off that he titus outbreak in nevada. many of the surgery centers may be perfectly safe. but how do you know? >> with a large medical center or large community hospital, i think there's greater assurance that their infection control prosee juries are, indeed, at a very high level. beyond that, it's kind of difficult. >> reporter: lawmakers now want to mandate those surgery centers get accreditation, arguing if they want to operate like the hospitals, they need to be regulated like them. sharyn alfonsi, abc news, new york. coming up, the confessional of jothat'sn der sloot. ta now comes with the star safety system... standard. it's a combination of five accident avoidance technologies. the star safety system is something that's standard on 100% of toyota vehicles. we always think of safety, even in the concept design of our vehicles. [ male announcer ] the star safety system. now standard.
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of stephany flores in peru came almost five years to the day of the disappearance of natalee holloway. van der sloot reportedly admitted to grabbing flores by the neck and hitting her because she searched his laptop computer for information on him. one thing is certain with van der sloot, the truth is illusive. he admits to lies in the holloway investigation as he told chris cuomo in this interview. >> reporter: why would you lie if you had nothing to hide about natalee holloway? >> i lied because, yeah, i was scared. >> reporter: and today, van der sloot's mother, who never stopped defending her son, is on her way to peru to see him. and also today, in washington, natalee holloway's mother opened a new resource center for parents of missing children. >> let's all remind ourselves, and keep the flores family in our hearts and in our prayers. >> reporter: linsey davis, abc news, new york. and remember the famous 1963
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where oil reaches the shore, thousands of people are ready to clean it up. we will honor all legitimate claims, and our clean-up efforts will not come at any cost to taxpayers. to those affected and your families, i'm deeply sorry. the gulf is home for thousands of bp employees and we all feel the impact. to all the volunteers and for the strong support of the government, thank you. we know it is our responsibility to keep you informed and do everything we can so this never happens again. we will get this done. we will make this right. dr. scholl's back pain relief orthotics with shockguard echnology give you immediate relief # that lasts all day long. dr. scholl's. pain relief is a step away.
tonight, taking the mound for the washington nationals, a 21-year-old sensation, who throws 100-mile-an-hour fastball and got a $15 million contract right out of college. with us again, jon karl. >> stephen's on the cover tonight! >> reporter: a one-man stimulus program -- the most talked about player in baseball. why are you guys here tonight? >> strasburg. >> reporter: who? >> we wanted to make history. >> and see stephen strasburg. >> reporter: meet stephen strasburg, a guy who hasn't played a single game in the big leagues, but he can fill a stadium just by throwing warm-up pitches. these kids spent eight hours in the car just to catch a glimpse of him. is it worth it? >> oh, yes. >> reporter: no doubt? >> no doubt.
this is awesome. >> reporter: strasburg's been called the greatest pitching prospect of all time. his autograph fetches nearly 200 bucks on ebay. his one-of-a-kind rookie baseball card just sold for more than $16,000. you can get a babe ruth card for less. we went to see him play for the minor league syracuse chiefs -- one last chance to see him before he hits the big leagues. syracuse, new york, has had a professional baseball team since the mid-1800s and once hosted a minor leaguer named babe ruth. but strasburg's games have attracted the largest recorded crowds ever for professional baseball in this city. it's all about his fastball. the speed clock repeatedly hit 99, but it only has two digits. his biggest challenge? expectations. former boston red sox pitcher curt schilling says the day strasburg hits the majors, he may be the best pitcher in all of baseball. it seems the only one not
hyping strasburg is strasburg himself. i want to ask you -- curt schilling said when you get up in the majors, you could instantly be the best pitcher -- >> let's just focus on the game here, okay? >> reporter: fair enough. on this day, he actually gave up a home run and lost the game -- a reminder that the phenom is human. jonathan karl, abc news, syracuse, new york. >> love his little fans. and we will see you tomorrow night from california, with those big election results. until then, we hope you have a great night, see you again until then, we hope you have a great night, see you again tomorrow. ñññññññññ